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Europe against austerity

As the worldwide economy seems set for another recession, criticism against the austerity policy of several governments grows in force. Governments represent bankers and the rich impose austerity on working people and the poor.


Gareth Barnes

The “Europe Against Austerity Campaign” is set to create political waves across the continent as the movement defends the Welfare State system and appeals to Europe-wide action to prevent governments’ austerity measures.

On 1st October, the conference, backed by trade unions and ministers from across the Eurozone, will bring together those working towards creating a co-ordinated resistance with the ultimate aim of reaching out beyond Europe. With the slogan ‘Can’t pay, Won’t pay’, the representatives hope to pool ideas and experiences to create a united front against future austerity measures.

The Coalition of Resistance, organisers of the conference, state that ‘governments representing bankers and the rich are imposing austerity on working people and the poor’ and yet these measures are proving to be ineffective as unemployment continues to rise as wages are simultaneously cut.

In Greece, Spain and France there have already been large-scale strikes and protests all of which suggests the issues that will be addressed by the conference are wide-spread.

The opening session of the conference will deal with meeting the challenge in the current climate of crisis, followed by several parallel sessions including “The Euro crisis – causes and solutions from a progressive perspective”, “Mobilising against austerity”, “Youth and students fighting for a future”, “Full rights for migrant workers and asylum seekers” and “Women, austerity and resistance”.

The conference will end with a discussion of the future of the movement and how to find an alternative path forward. Among the speakers will be; the MP for Islington North, Jeremy Corbyn; the President of the European Left Party, Pierre Laurent; the General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, Bob Crow; Sonia Mitralias from The Committee for the Abolition of the Third World Debt (CADTM), Greece; Olivier Besancenot from the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA), France; Lindsey German of the Stop the War Coalition, UK; Elisabeth Gauthier of Transform! Europe; the General Secretary of Unite, Len McCluskey; and Senator David Cullinane from Sinn Fein, Ireland.

As well as those concerned in general about government cuts sweeping across Europe, activists and representatives from trade unions, anti-cuts and anti-privatisation groups are welcome to attend and should register in advance on the Europe Against Austerity website.

Date: 1st October, 10 am – 5 pm. Location: Camden Centre, Bidborough Street. More information: http://www.europeagainstausterity.org; www.coalitionofresistance.org.uk

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